Michael Nelson is finally free. He was sentenced to life in prison for stealing an empty brown paper lunch bag out of a parked car. At the time, his life sentence was mandatory under the law. Today, it would not be legal, and IPNO leveraged changes to the law to help secure his freedom. While in prison, Michael got his GED and Bachelor’s in Christian Ministry. He served as the Reentry Mentor for inmates taking welding classes. Michael channeled his passion for horticulture and landscaping into passing the Louisiana State arborist, pesticide, horticulture, and landscaping examinations. He hopes to use his skills and knowledge to open up his own tree removal and landscaping business.
Mr. Nelson was represented by IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project. He is excited about to be reunited with his two sons, his new grandchild, and his Aunt Barbara.